Every March 17th, people around the world become “Irish for a day” by donning bold shades of green, four leaf clovers, and maybe even a leprechaun hat to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but nowhere does it like the Emerald Isle itself. With each city boasting its own lavish and unique festivals all over the country, there is no doubt that a visit to Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day will be anything but disappointing!
Dublin will be bustling with activity during its five-day St. Patrick’s Festival, offering the chance to explore everything from street performers to boat races. Enjoy roller coasters, Ferris wheels, carousels at the outdoor Funfairs before taking a break with a pint in the Irish Craft Beer Village, where local brewers will give the history of brewing form its origins to how it’s done today. Then, start your evenings off painting the town green at 5pm each night when Dublin’s landmark buildings are lit up in glowing green throughout the city.
Grab some dancing shoes and head to Limerick to learn traditional Irish jigs and reels, or kick back and sip a pint along the “trad trail” of musical pubs, featuring lively and festive Irish music, during their St. Patrick’s Festival. For those feeling a little more bold, dress up and join Limerick locals and travelers alike in attempting to set the world record for the most St. Patrick’s in one place during their “Parade of Patrick’s” And even after St. Patrick’s Day is over, the celebrations continue the next day with the Limerick International Band Championship, featuring more than 1,000 musicians from 21 different countries around the world.
For those with Irish roots, come march in Galway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where anyone around the world related to one of the Tribes of Galway is invited to join the 1km parade through some of Galway’s most historic and lively areas, including the festive Shop Street and Eyre Square. Observers are just as welcome to enjoy the parade, renowned for being one of the best in Ireland, but be sure to beat the crowds and arrive early to snag a good seat to be able to enjoy all of the pipe bands, dance groups, and performers as they flood the streets of Galway.
Ready to throw one of the largest festivals in Ireland, Cork has myriads of outstanding and unique street performers lined up for their massive three-day festival and parade. From giant puppets to international mimes and magicians, Cork’s St. Patrick’s Festival is much more like a non-stop carnival with entertainment around every corner. Music and dancing will of course be part of the festivities, however unlike many other festivals around Ireland, this one will feature live music from multiple genres including blues, funk, and even swing dancing.
If scenic historical routes sound more appealing than the festival scene, hop in the car for a drive down the 92 mile route of Saint Patrick’s Trail where you’ll visit 15 different sites all connected to Saint Patrick’s time in Ireland. Begin the trail in Bangor or Armagh and get a good dose of history as well as breathtaking scenery and photo opportunities. After, for a change of pace or if you have kids are in the car, take a drive a little farther North to Derry, where the family can hunt for Leprechauns and gold in Hezlett House.
As an up-and-coming television host and blogger, Celeste strives to share her passion for travel to inform and entertain others about different cultures, foods, and destinations world wide.
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